The sophomore senate class has begun a new project that will continue throughout the rest of the year. They bring awareness to something new each month, and have multiple ways to reach the student body, whether that be through ribbons, posters, or even a sign in the parking lot.
Each month they take one week to make around 1000 ribbons that attach to a slip of paper that describes the month they’re promoting and ask a question that leaves students thinking about the topic at hand. Brad Odice, student senate adviser, said, “It stemmed from them wanting to do something that was sustainable throughout the school year, and the ribbon campaign popped up, and when they got to September, suicide prevention and mental health awareness was on the forefront of all of the things they were researching.”
Often times these months will come with a motto, such as “Happiness happens” for August, happiness month, and “You’re not alone” for September, suicide awareness month. Megan Rucker, sophomore, said, “Happiness happens month was to start the school year off great, and then suicide prevention is trying to let everyone know that we matter, because high school can be rough.”
On the designated handout day, there are four students from sophomore senate at the student doors and main doors who hand out these ribbons and slips of paper, and they even carry them in their backpacks to give to people they pass in the hall. Hanna Becker, sophomore, said, “We’re trying to spread school unity and get kids to know that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves and really make an impact on our community, and hopefully it will spread to other communities as it grows.”
After students answer the question, these papers are put on the board near the library. In regards to the process involved in making these days happen, Odice said, “For me it’s just getting them to think about decisions that they’re making, encouraging them to know their ‘why’ they’re doing things.”
They also encourage the student body to dress up in a certain color that goes along with what it is they’re trying to bring awareness to. For example, August was green and September was yellow. Claudia English, sophomore, said, “I think that a lot of freshmen have gone all out, especially when it’s a topic that relates to you so closely.”
English also said they drew inspiration from the blue and yellow ribbons made last year after the Stem shooting. “We figure no matter what the topic is, whether it’s breast cancer or suicide, everybody’s connected to it in some way or form,” said English. Although it was only a small group of people at a senate summer retreat who thought of the idea, ultimately a whole class is contributing to making these months happen.
Odice said, “It’s one of those things that I think the school needed, where everyone felt like they could get on board with the same thing, and so to see now the second month of ribbons go out and see them side by side is awesome and I hope that that momentum continues.”
Delaney Atchison, Associate Editor